A Roused Heart

Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me

Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me

Senator Portman of Ohio is a Republican social conservative who recently  made an unexpected announcement on CNN.  He reported that he had experienced a change of heart about homosexual marriage since his son had told him that he was gay. 

Portman’s mind had given him a settled opinion, a conviction as it were, that homosexual behavior is abnormal, sinful, degrading.  But now, moved by his heart he entertains no such thoughts about his son or his friends. I don’t know Senator Portman so we may disagree on many things, but I admire his courage and integrity.

Yesterday was Palm Sunday.  The common people wanted to crown  Jesus their king,  but he knew he had powerful enemies at Jerusalem. So he needed time alone to consult with his mind and heart.  Against the advice of those closest to him he decided to go to Jerusalem to meet the enemies who had the power and the will to kill him.  He decided to meet his enemies face to face without bodyguard, body armor, or side arm for protection.  It is written that he set his face to go to Jerusalem.  

Jesus wept as he approached Jerusalem. He did not choose to cry; Crying comes from the heart.  Tears rolled down his face as he blurted,  O Jerusalem, killer of the prophets, often I wished to gather your children as a  hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you would have nothing to do with it.

Jesus rode a donkey to enter the city.  Enthusiasts blanketed the streeet with robes, waved olive branches in the air.  Children cried out hurrahs to the son of David.  Keepers of order asked him to quiet them.  Jesus retorted:  if these kids kept quiet the stones would shout. His time had come. His heart told him so. 

The heart of Jesus guided him as he entered a room dedicated for praying gentiles. Money-makers desecrated this holy space for capitalistic purposes.  Defecating animals dirtied  the place with their dung.  Coins jingled as buyers and sellers raised their voices, striking  bargains. 

The spectacle saddened and angered Jesus.  He released birds from their cages, whipped the animals from their stalls,  upset the tables of the money changers and pointed the way for all intruders to exit immediately. 

What are you doing? the people asked him.  Are you out of your mind?  Who gave you the authority to do this?  This space is reserved for the gentiles to pray, he said quietly, the anger of his heart still seething within him. You, he scolded, you have turned it into a den of thieves.   

The Elkhart Truth reported that a Mennonite pastor, Fred Kauffman, from Philadelphia spoke to the Hively Mennonite Church, Elkhart, on preventing gun violence.  Kauffman is the MCC  Philidelphia Program Coordinator whose congregation partners with the Kingdom Builders Anabaptist Network of Philadelphia.  He is on a mission to slow down the illegle flow of guns, and to educate communities about the underlying issues related to gun violence.  Indiana has 1,334 licnsed gun dealers — twice as many as post offices, according to Kauffman.          

Layered rock in the mountains of western Pennsylvania

Layered rock in the mountains of western Pennsylvania

It is the opinion of the Old Fool that the guns used for war and personal protection  defile God’s earth.  When will the heart of the quiet people be roused?  Mind and heart go together.  Jesus made no friends among the powerful.

About Martin Lehman

I was born 92 years ago, the son of a Mennonite pastor and organic gardener in Franklin County, Pennsylvania. At age 10 I was baptized as a member of the Marion Mennonite Church. I own the "Old Fool" moniker because I want to walk the Jesus Way even though the world and much of the church takes me as a fool for doing so. In my life I have moved from being a young conservative to an elderly radical. I tell that story in My Faith Journey posted on my website.
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